What to Say to Somebody Who Lost a Pet: Ideas and Sayings

Key takeaways

Knowing what a grieving friend needs can be difficult. We may feel our words are inadequate or may do more harm than good.

This is why we've put together this sensitive guide: to help people know what to say and spark their own imagination and creativity.

First, we look at how to support someone who's grieving before we explore some poems, quotes, and ideas for your own words that you can say to them.

Quick Navigation

  1. Key takeaways
  2. How to support someone a grieving pet owner
  3. What to say to somebody when their pet dies
  4. FAQs
  5. Final thoughts

How to support someone a grieving pet owner

Pet loss is an unspeakably distressing situation. The grief can feel like it takes up your whole life, and sometimes, the only people to get us out of it are our close family and friends. So, if you're a friend trying to comfort a pet parent, try to be there for them as much as possible.

Spend time with them

Simply spending time with a grieving friend can be all they need. Don't feel as if you have to bring gifts or talk about the grief with them, but just see what they need.
Sometimes, people just need some company or to take their minds off the grief. Popping around for dinner, inviting them around, or going on walks can be a lovely way to show your friend that you support them without putting pressure on them to talk about how they are feeling.
Neighbors comforting each other after a pet loss

Offer to help out

When a family member or friend has lost a beloved pet, they may find it difficult to keep up with their daily routine and responsibilities. Sometimes, the most helpful thing you can do is offer to help out. Whether that means babysitting, shopping for groceries, or cooking for them, any kind of help and support will be appreciated.
Remember that many people will find it difficult to ask for help. So, instead of waiting for the question, why don't you offer to take on specific tasks? This way, they will feel supported without feeling awkward.
A pet owner going around to someone's house

Talk with them

It's likely you have many wonderful memories of the furry friend who passed away. Hearing these can be very comforting for pet owners when they are grieving. It's easy to focus on the last days of a pet that has passed away, making it difficult for owners to remember when they were young, fit, and healthy.
Your memories and experiences of their furry friend will be a joyous relief to hear. It can spark lovely conversations and make the grieving process easier. They will also be more likely to open up about their struggles, which will help lighten the load.
Two cat owners chatting about grief

What to say to somebody when their pet dies

Whether it's in a card, a text, or in person, we can struggle to find the right words for how we're feeling. Read on to find some useful suggestions.

Your own words

Your own words can sometimes be the best ones. They are often more personal and thoughtful, and those grieving will appreciate the support you offer.
We're going to list some general ideas that you can use to spark your own creativity and imagination. Try to imagine what you would like to hear if you were grieving.
Try the following:

I have many fond memories of [PET'S NAME], and they will be dearly missed.

I want to offer my deepest condolences for the loss of [PET'S NAME].

I'm so sorry for your loss. [PET'S NAME] was one of a kind, and their memory will live on in all of us.

[PET'S NAME] was such an important part of all of our lives, and they will be greatly missed.

I'm so sorry to hear [PET'S NAME] has passed away. They lived a wonderful life and were a special companion.

I want to offer my deepest sympathies. Losing a pet is an incredibly difficult experience, and I'm here for you.

Photo of a dog on a phone

Quotes

Finding the right words can feel impossible sometimes. So don't feel bad if you feel like you may say the wrong thing. Quotes are a lovely way to offer advice and support in this difficult time.
Below are some lovely quotes to help owners cope with the loss of a pet:

"Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow." – Robert Louis Stevenson

“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs your heart is very big.” –Erica Jong

“When the cat you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.” –Unknown

"What greater gift than the love of a cat." –Charles Dickens

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." –Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

"Death ends a life, not a relationship." –Jack Lemmon

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” - Winnie the Pooh

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose; all that we have loved deeply, becomes a part of us.” - Helen Keller

Sad cat owner grieving their pet

Poems

If you want a message that's a little longer, then poems can be a great choice. They often say what we mean in an eloquent and beautiful way. As well as going within a condolence card, they can also make great gifts if you print and frame them.
The following poems will offer support to those missing their pets:
My Forever Pet by Suzanne Taylor
There’s something missing in my home,
I feel it day and night,
I know it will take time and strength
before things feel quite right.
But just for now, I need to mourn,
My heart — it needs to mend.
Though some may say, “It’s just a pet,”
I know I’ve lost a friend.
You’ve brought such laughter to my home,
and richness to my days.
A constant friend through joy or loss
with gentle, loving ways.
Companion, friend, and confidante,
A friend I won’t forget.
You’ll live forever in my heart,
My sweet, forever pet.
Missing You by Colleen Fitzsimmons
I stood by your bed last night …I came to have a peep.
I could see that you’d been crying, and you found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
“It’s me. I haven’t left you. I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here”.
I was close to you at breakfast… I watched you pour your tea.
You were thinking of the many times your hands reached down to touch me.
I was with you at my grave today… you tend to it with such care.
I want to reassure you. That I’m not lying there.
I walked you towards the house as you fumbled for the key.
I gently put my paw on you…I smiled and said, “it’s me”.
You looked so tired as you sank into your chair.
I tried so hard to let you know that I was sitting there.
It’s wonderful for me to be so near you everyday,
To say to you with certainty, “I never went away”.
You sat there quietly, then smiled… I think you knew
That in the stillness of the evening I was very close to you.
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I’ll rush across to meet you and we’ll stand there side by side.
I have so many things to show you ! There’s so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out, then come home to be with me.
I Loved You Best by Jim Willis
So this is where we part, My Friend,
and you'll run on, around the bend,
gone from sight, but not from mind,
new pleasures there you'll surely find.
I will go on, I'll find the strength,
life measures quality, not its length.
One long embrace before you leave,
share one last look, before I grieve.
There are others, that much is true,
but they be they, and they aren't you.
And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought,
will remember well all you've taught.
Your place I'll hold, you will be missed,
the fur I stroked, the nose I kissed.
And as you journey to your final rest,
take with you this... I loved you best.
A cat owner sat with their cat looking out the window

FAQs

How do you comfort someone who just lost a pet?

To comfort someone who has just lost a pet, you should let them know that you are there for them. Offer to help out their normal routines and send a card so they know you're thinking of them.

What is a good quote about losing a pet?

A good quote about losing a pet is, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." –Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss).

What do you get someone whose pet died?

Good gift ideas for someone whose pet has died include a framed photo, a photobook, or a keepsake box.

What is a short saying about losing a dog?

A good short saying about losing a dog is, “Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love; they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs, your heart is very big.” –Erica Jong

What is a sad quote about losing an animal?

A lovely but sad quote about losing an animal is, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” - Winnie the Pooh.

How do you show empathy to someone who lost a pet?

You can show empathy to someone who has lost a pet by sending them a sympathy card and offering to help them out or talk with them.

What do you write when a dog dies?

When a dog dies, you should write how you feel. Whether this is offering your condolences or sharing a memory that you hold dearly of them.

Final thoughts

Losing a beloved pet is like losing a best friend. We have offered just a few ideas about what to say when somebody has lost a furry family member.
But remember, the more personal, the better. To help you, try and put yourself in their shoes. It can be painful to think about when your pet died or thinking about the future, but it will help you understand what your friend needs.
When a pet dies, thinking about the happy memories of our fur baby is essential. So, try and encourage this.

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